Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Free junk, a recipe and quiet!

Today sucked the life right out of me.

It was a great day and very fun, but there is something about me you may not know.

I am an introvert. An extroverted introvert, but an introvert none the less.

Today started with a dog walk with friends, then a La Leche League meeting with many babies to admire, then the homeschool park day get-together.

It was a lot of being out and about for me. David has been so busy the last two weeks that I haven't really had any quiet time for myself since I've been on full time kid patrol.

I am not complaining at all, but I am noticing that I am feeling a little frayed around the edges.

This all goes to explain why I was especially excited to find some free junk on the curb.

I don't know if every part of the country garbage picks, or if it is particular to New England where the love of thrift is well storied, but around here people put out their discards on the curb. Often there is a sign saying "Free!" attached, but just as often there isn't. People around here just know that if there is something good on the curb you should go grab it!

Over the last few years I've rescued quite a bit from the curb and I am sure that some of my neighbors are enjoying my castoffs. It's a fun system.

Today on my way home from the dog park I saw a piece of storage furniture that I just had to stop for.

It's solid wood!

See that nice grain?

The back is chicken wire.

I love chicken wire!

I need to clean it up and paint it. I'm not sure what color to paint it though. I have about seven cans of glossy red spray paint I could use, though I like the clean look of white.

You probably want to know what I am going to use it for.

I understand. I want to know what I am going to use it for too! Right now my guesses are either shoes or art supplies. The kids will want to put webkinz into it, but because I am a horrible mother I won't let them.

Anyway, back to having the life sucked out of me...

Today I spent two hours standing in the cold at the park. But here's where I am a weirdo. I love it! I mean it. I love feeling just chilly, not really cold, but chilly enough that my body has to work a bit to stay warm. I think that it justifies all of the chocolate.

When we got home we were all pretty cold so we laid in front of the gas fireplace for a while until we had heated up.

Once I was warm I felt so sleepy, and have continued to feel that way ever since.

I always keep a couple of containers of frozen clam chowder in my freezer for just these sorts of nights. The warm and creamy clam chowder feels like such a treat on a cold day. When I plan ahead a bit I buy a loaf of good french bread, but today I had not planned ahead.

So I improvised.

I decided to make biscuits which I have never done before. The recipe called for shortening. I didn't have any shortening because to be honest with you I think it's pretty gross. The only sensible alternative was to use butter.

I was shocked by how easy they are to make!

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick of butter
3/4 cup of milk

1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir.
2. Cut butter into small pieces.
3. Add butter to flour mixture, cutting in until crumbly.
4. Create well in flour mixture, pour in milk.
5. Stir with fork until just moistened.
6. Roll out onto a lightly floured surface and knead just until smooth.
7. Flatten to about 1/2 inch thick.
8. Use a biscuit cutter or the floured rim of a small drinking class and cut out the biscuits.
9. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 7-10 minutes at 450 degrees.

David is away so it was just the three of us enjoying our chowder and biscuits by the candle light tonight.

It was quiet, everyone too hungry and tired to say much. The dogs snorted hopefully underneath the table waiting for someone to drop something they might like to eat.

It was the quiet, the gentle peaceful quiet which really nourished me. I've had my bath, the dogs have been out, and bedtime is right around the corner.

I can't wait.


Anonymous said...

One of my fave Ani Difranco songs goes

" let's go over to the window
and sit in the neon light
let's go out walking
you know, it's garbage night"

It always makes me think of all the stuff I picked up when I lived in Jamaica Plain. The most outlandish -- two paintings tossed out by neighbors -- they were nudes. I felt bad -- homeless nude paintings. I put them up in my dining room; they were not attractive people but they deserved to have a home. xo Mari

Amy said...

Very jealous of your find--I love the wire screen back. I wouldn't paint it, but I know your feelings on dark wood. When David gets home, and owes you big, let's run away and junk. I promise you don't have to talk to me--we can have an introvert date. xo

gretchen from lifenut said...

Wow! What a find.

About 3 years ago, a house down the street was foreclosed. The people left a lot of furniture behind and disappeared. A few months later, a company hired to come in and clean it out left everything in the driveway---a PIANO, dressers, holiday decorations, rugs, a hutch, random knick-knacks. That is highly unusual. After about a week, people stopped being shy and started pulling up trucks and taking stuff.

We felt weird about it, so we took nothing. If there had been a giant "FREE" sign on it, I would have indulged...

It's nice to know if we left our piano in our driveway, nobody would take it for at least a week.

I hope you post a picture after you fix it up.

Ginger said...

I've never seen people put good stuff out for the trash, usually they want to sell it. Here in Utah we aren't allowed to put anything out for trash unless it fits in the trash can because it's all automated. The truck pulls up and the arms on the truck lift the can up and empty it. The driver just sits in the truck. So no neat stuff out.
It sounds like you and the girls had a pretty neat evening. The chowder and bisquits sounds good.

Pom Pom said...

Hi Dearie! Wow! That's QUITE a junk find!
I have to tell you that I am reading Left-Handed Housewife's book, Shooting the Moon. It is SO good! Have you read it? Maybe for home school?
You sound cozy!

Anonymous said...

You probably want to know what I am going to use it for.

I understand. I want to know what I am going to use it for too!

You could toss David out of his office, get some Plymouth Rock chickens, use the "piece of storage furniture" as a coop which it seems to be, and have eggs and chickens readily avaibale for food.